UFC employees are getting let go left and right these days, including big celebrity names like former champions Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes. The sale of the MMA promotional giant to WME-IMG this past summer brought a number of cost-cutting measures, including downsizing of personnel.
Beyond that, reports from the likes of MMA business leader Dave Meltzer have drawn the conclusion that the new UFC owners would be open to giving over some broadcast control of events to whomever they end up working with as broadcast partners after their current FOX television deal ends in 2018. That, combined with longtime UFC broadcast analyst and interviewer Joe Rogan's publicly discussed ambivalence, as recently as earlier this year, regarding continuing to work for the UFC.
Rogan eventually signed a one-year contract extension, but has not committed to returning beyond that. According to UFC president #DanaWhite, however, Joe Rogan doesn't have to worry about job security. “Rogan will be here as long as Rogan wants to be here," White said in an interview with The Fight Network Friday.
"He’s the best to ever do it. Rogan is the best ever, in my opinion.
There are some things I’m working on for 2017, as far as the broadcast goes, but that [rumor of Rogan possibly being let go] is a complete and total lie"
White is right, in our opinion, that #JoeRogan is the best MMA color commentator in the sport's short history. So, there's plenty of reasons to try and keep the comedian around the UFC.
However, as White himself admitted recently when explaining how #ChuckLiddell and #MattHughes were let go from their loyalty executive jobs with the UFC, Uncle Dana doesn't have the same say-so over how money is spent s he did when his friends Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta were the majority owners.
"I told [Liddell and Hughes] both, I said, ‘Listen, unless I drop dead or it comes to a position sometime where I’m not controlling how much money is being spent, or all that stuff, you guys will get a paycheck until that day,'" he said, explaining how the two legends came to be fired from their UFC executive jobs.
"That day came.”
So, now that the day has come where UFC president Dana White doesn't control how much money is being spent in the UFC, it would seem he really can't actually guarantee anyone's job security - Joe Rogan or anyone else. Fortunately for Rogan, he's got several major revenue streams going on.
Rogan is a nationally-touring stand-up comedian, hosts one of the most popular podcasts in the English languag, and owns a stake in the Onnit supplement and equipment company. All of that is probably why he felt comfortable deciding whether or not to stay with the UFC with purely his own happiness as a consideration.
Hopefully, though, for fans' and the UFC's sake, Goldberg and Rogan are treated well and made offers good enough to keep them coming back year after year.